A genome-wide screen for Saccharomyces cerevisiae deletion mutants that affect telomere length

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Jun 8;101(23):8658-63. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0401263101. Epub 2004 May 25.


Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures present at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes that play a central role in guarding the integrity of the genome by protecting chromosome ends from degradation and fusion. Length regulation is central to telomere function. To broaden our knowledge about the mechanisms that control telomere length, we have carried out a systematic examination of approximately 4,800 haploid deletion mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for telomere-length alterations. By using this screen, we have identified >150 candidate genes not previously known to affect telomere length. In two-thirds of the identified mutants, short telomeres were observed; whereas in one-third, telomeres were lengthened. The genes identified are very diverse in their functions, but certain categories, including DNA and RNA metabolism, chromatin modification, and vacuolar traffic, are overrepresented. Our results greatly enlarge the number of known genes that affect telomere metabolism and will provide insights into how telomere function is linked to many other cellular processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • Gene Deletion
  • Genome, Fungal*
  • Mutation*
  • Phenotype
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Telomere / genetics*


  • DNA, Fungal